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 Department: Department of History
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Why the Fuse Blew: the Reasons for Colonial America’s Transformation From Proto-nationalists to Revolutionary Patriots: 1772-1775

Why the Fuse Blew: the Reasons for Colonial America’s Transformation From Proto-nationalists to Revolutionary Patriots: 1772-1775

Date: August 2015
Creator: Davis, Camille Marie
Description: The most well-known events and occurrences that caused the American Revolution are well-documented. No scholar debates the importance of matters such as the colonists’ frustration with taxation without representation, the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the Coercive Acts. However, very few scholars have paid attention to how the 1772 English court case that freed James Somerset from slavery impacted American Independence. This case occurred during a two-year stall in the conflict between the English government and her colonies that began in 1763. Between 1763 and 1770, there was ongoing conflict between the two parties, but the conflict temporarily subsided in 1770. Two years later, in 1772, the Somerset decision reignited tension and frustration between the mother country and her colonies. This paper does not claim that the Somerset decision was the cause of colonial separation from England. Instead it argues that the Somerset decision played a significant yet rarely discussed role in the colonists’ willingness to begin meeting with one another to discuss their common problem of shared grievance with British governance. It prompted the colonists to begin relating to one another and to the British in a way that they never had previously. This case’s impact on ...
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Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Texas: a History, Pre-statehood to 1949

Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Texas: a History, Pre-statehood to 1949

Date: August 2015
Creator: Taylor, Nicholas Gerard
Description: The office of a state lieutenant governor often fails to evoke images of power, influence, or prestige. However, in Texas the office is regarded by many as the most powerful political office in the state. The Texas lieutenant governor derives his power from several sources, including the Texas Constitution, Senate rules, statutes, and the personality of the officeholder. This work explores the role of the Texas lieutenant governor in the pre-modern period with an examination of the office’s legalistic and pre-statehood roots. Aspects explored include the backgrounds of the men who became lieutenant governor, the power the officeholders exerted during their time in office, and whether or not the office became a platform for future political success. The men who served as lieutenant governor during the first century of statehood for Texas did not have the power enjoyed by their more recent contemporaries. However, some of them laid a foundation for the future by exploiting political opportunities and amending legislative practices. As Texas grew into a modern and urban state, the power and influence of the office of lieutenant governor also grew.
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Reconstruction in Collin County, Texas, 1865-1876

Reconstruction in Collin County, Texas, 1865-1876

Date: August 2015
Creator: Thompson, Jesse R.
Description: This is a work of local history examining the course of Reconstruction in Collin County, Texas. National and state level surveys of Reconstruction often overlook the experiences of communities in favor of simpler, broader narratives. The work proceeds chronologically, beginning with the close of the Civil War, and tells the story of Collin County as national Reconstruction progressed and relies on works of professional and non-academic historians, oral histories, census data, and newspapers to present a coherent picture of local life, work, and politics. The results exemplify the value of local history, as local conditions influenced the course of events in Collin County as much as those in Austin and Washington D.C. The story of Reconstruction in Collin County is one of anomalous political views resulting from geographical exclusion from the cotton culture of Texas followed by a steady convergence. As Reconstruction progressed, Collin County began to show solidarity with more solidly conservative Texas Counties. The arrival of railroads allowed farmers to move from subsistence agriculture to cash crop production. This further altered local attitudes toward government, labor, voting rights, and education for Freedmen. By the end of Reconstruction, Collin County had all but abandoned their contrarian social and political ...
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The Shifting Borders of Egypt

The Shifting Borders of Egypt

Date: May 2015
Creator: Chavez, Miguel Angel
Description: The formation of state borders is often told through the history of war and diplomacy. What is neglected is the tale of how borders of seemingly peaceful and long-extant places were set. In drawing Egypt’s borders, nineteenth-century cartographers were drawing upon a well of knowledge that stretched back into antiquity. Relying on the works of Greco-Roman writers and the Bible itself, cartographers and explorers used the authority of these works to make sense of unfamiliar lands, regardless of any current circumstances. The border with Palestine was determined through the usage of the Old Testament, while classical scholars like Herodotus and Ptolemy set the southern border at the Cataracts. The ancient cartography of Rome was overlaid upon the Egypt of Muhammad Ali. Given the increasing importance Egypt had to the burgeoning British Empire of the nineteenth century, how did this mesh with the influences informing cartographical representations of Egypt? This study argues that the imagined spaces created by Western cartographers informed the trajectory of Britain’s eventual conquest of Egypt. While receding as geopolitical concerns took hold, the classical and biblical influences were nonetheless part of a larger trend of Orientalism that colored the way Westerners interacted with and treated the people ...
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The Light of Dark-Age Athens: Factors in the Survival of Athens after the Fall of Mycenaean Civilization

The Light of Dark-Age Athens: Factors in the Survival of Athens after the Fall of Mycenaean Civilization

Date: May 2015
Creator: Golightly, Paul
Description: When looking at Dark Age Greece, one of the most important sites to consider is Athens. The Dark Age was a transitional period between the fall of Mycenaean Greece of the Bronze Age, and Archaic Greece of the Iron Age. This period is called the Dark Age because the palaces that ruled the Mycenaean age collapsed, and with them fell civilization in mainland Greece. Writing, fine art, massive architecture, trade, and luxury goods disappear from mainland Greece. But Athens survived the fall of the Mycenaeans. In order to understand the reason why Athens survived one must look at what the causes of the fall of the Mycenaeans were. Theories range from raiders and invasion, to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, droughts, and plagues. One must also examine Greece itself. The landscape and climate of Greece have a large impact on the settlement of the Greeks. The land of Greece also affects what Greek communities were able to do economically, whether a city would be rich or poor. It is because Athens is located in Attica that it survived. Attica had the poorest soil in the Mycenaean world, and was the poorest of the major cities, therefore, when looking at the ...
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A History of the Phenomenon of the Maras of El Salvador, 1971- 1992

A History of the Phenomenon of the Maras of El Salvador, 1971- 1992

Date: May 2014
Creator: Castillo, Vogel Vladimir
Description: This thesis grounds its examination of the maras of El Salvador in the historical past (1971-1992) rather than the present, which constitutes a departure from current scholarship on the subject. This thesis revises our current understanding of the emergence and development of maras in El Salvador through the recovery, insertion and examination of key local events, conditions, and historical actors of the 1970s and 1980s. From signifying friendship and camaraderie prior to the late 1980s, the maras increasingly became the target of public concern and Salvadoran security forces over the course of the 1980. By the late 1980s the maras increasingly became associated with criminal activity in Salvadoran society and popular culture. To document these changed conditions, this thesis relies extensively on previously untapped and ignored primary sources: newspapers and oral history interviews.
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Cowboys, “Queers,” and Community: the Aids Crisis in Houston and Dallas, 1981-1996

Cowboys, “Queers,” and Community: the Aids Crisis in Houston and Dallas, 1981-1996

Date: August 2014
Creator: Bundschuh, Molly Ellen
Description: This thesis examines the response to the AIDS crisis in Houston and Dallas, two cities in Texas with the most established gay communities highest number of AIDS incidences. Devoting particular attention to the struggles of the Texas’ gay men, this work analyzes the roadblocks to equal and compassionate care for AIDS, including access to affordable treatment, medical insurance, and the closure of the nation’s first AIDS hospital. In addition, this thesis describes the ways in which the peculiar nature of AIDS as an illness transformed the public perception of sickness and infection. This work contributes to the growing study of gay and lesbian history by exploring the transformative effects of AIDS on the gay community in Texas, a location often forgotten within the context of the AIDS epidemic.
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The Power of Perception: Women and Politics at the Early Georgian Court

The Power of Perception: Women and Politics at the Early Georgian Court

Date: August 2014
Creator: Stewart, Hailey A.
Description: The early Georgian period illustrates how the familial dynamic at court affected women’s opportunity to exert political influence. The court represented an important venue that allowed women to declare a political affiliation and to participate in political issues that suited their interests. Appearances often at variance with reality allowed women to manipulate and test their political abilities in order to have the capability to exercise any possible power. Moreover, some women developed political alliances and relationships that supported their own interests. The family structure of the royal household affected how much influence women had. The perception of holding power permitted certain women to behave politically. This thesis will demonstrate that the distinction between appearances and reality becomes vital in assessing women at the early Georgian court by examining some women’s experiences at court during the reigns of the first two Georges. In some cases, the perceived power of a courtier had a real basis, and in other instances, it gave them an opportunity to assess the extent of their political power. Women’s political participation has been underestimated during the early Georgian period, while well-documented post-1760.
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Companion to the Gods, Friend to the Empire: the Experiences and Education of the Emperor Julian and How It Influenced His Reign 361-363 Ad

Companion to the Gods, Friend to the Empire: the Experiences and Education of the Emperor Julian and How It Influenced His Reign 361-363 Ad

Date: August 2014
Creator: Lilly, Marshall
Description: This thesis explores the life and reign of Julian the Apostate the man who ruled over the Roman Empire from A.D. 361-363. The study of Julian the Apostate’s reign has historically been eclipsed due to his clash with Christianity. After the murder of his family in 337 by his Christian cousin Constantius, Julian was sent into exile. These emotional experiences would impact his view of the Christian religion for the remainder of his life. Julian did have conflict with the Christians but his main goal in the end was the revival of ancient paganism and the restoration of the Empire back to her glory. The purpose of this study is to trace the education and experiences that Julian had undergone and the effects they it had on his reign. Julian was able to have both a Christian and pagan education that would have a lifelong influence on his reign. Julian’s career was a short but significant one. Julian restored the cities of the empire and made beneficial reforms to the legal, educational, political and religious institutions throughout the Empire. The pagan historians praised him for his public services to the empire while the Christians have focused on his apostasy and ...
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Company A, Nineteenth Texas Infantry, a History of a Small Town Fighting Unit

Company A, Nineteenth Texas Infantry, a History of a Small Town Fighting Unit

Date: August 2014
Creator: Williams, David J.
Description: I focus on Company A of the Nineteenth Texas Infantry, C.S.A., and its unique status among other Confederate military units. The raising of the company within the narrative of the regiment, its battles and campaigns, and the post-war experience of its men are the primary focal points of the thesis. In the first chapter, a systematic analysis of various aspects of the recruit’s background is given, highlighting the wealth of Company A’s officers and men. The following two chapters focus on the campaigns and battles experienced by the company and the praise bestowed on the men by brigade and divisional staff. The final chapter includes a postwar analysis of the survivors from Company A, concentrating on their locations, professions, and contributions to society, which again illustrate the achievements accomplished by the veterans of this unique Confederate unit. As a company largely drawn from Jefferson, Texas, a growing inland port community, Company A of the Nineteenth Texas Infantry differed from other companies in the regiment, and from most units raised across the Confederacy. Their unusual backgrounds, together with their experiences during and after the war, provide interesting perspectives on persistent questions concerning the motives and achievements of Texas Confederates.
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